So, I’ve been meaning to write more for this blog. I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple of weeks now, but haven’t actually gotten around to it. I keep telling myself - when I inevitably remember at some inopportune time - that this is likely due to my not having anything interesting to write about. My logical self knows that this is balderdash, as does my creative self - leaving only my lazy self in the spotlight. But is it really laziness that keeps me from writing? I have to wonder….
Procrastination gets a bad rep these days. The idea seems to be that if you’re not moving forward with something, not busy and actively engaged, you’re somehow failing the cosmic test of existence. We’re always looking toward what we assume is ‘ahead’ that magical space we envision our future self within. In this space we are accomplished, or less unhappy, or simply more active - whatever. But I don’t think it’s procrastination that’s at fault, or rather I don’t think it’s the cause.
Take this blog for example. There is literally nothing stopping me from writing about anything that I want to on here. It is my webpage, owned and operated by me, for me, and about me. I can write and post anything I want to, and nobody (short of my hosting provider if I don’t pay the bill) can stop me. It seems to be a recognized factor of humanity that we all wish to be understood, appreciated, liked - recognized by other human beings. Hell, that seems to be the point of about half the internet. So why am I not posting more frequently? It’s certainly not for lack of free time - not really. I have more than enough time each week to write, edit, and post something on my blog. Once a week is not too much to ask. No, the free time exists in the world, but what I’m starting to realize is that it might not exist inside my head.
I am constantly focused on what I think needs to happen in the next hour, day, week, month, year, that I get utterly overwhelmed by the experience. In essence I end up trying to live several decades in the course of the average day. I think other people have this experience too - it’s an easy one to have when the whole focus of life appears to be getting from one place to another. And this is utterly exhausting - beyond exhausting, fear-inducing. It feels like I can’t keep up, like everything that I want for my life is piling up around the uselessness of spending time relaxing. So, instead of relaxing I worry about work. And then, instead of working, I worry about my relationships. And then instead of going out and working with my relationships, I worry about bills. And while worrying about my bills, I end up playing a videogame, but because I’m using it to try and escape the need for relaxation, work, relationships, and bills, I end up feeling even more unaccomplished than I did in the beginning. It’s an incredibly fast, active, and intense series of events wherein absolutely nothing takes place. Other than my stress levels rising through the roof of course.
So I guess, at the heart of all of this lies fear.
And fear, once it gets a nice firm foothold, just keeps on doing its thing. It gets bigger, it gets more intense, and eventually it starts to feel normal. After a while all that you’re left with is this vague sense of disquiet - this continuous idling anxiety that infests everything around it, and manifests in your life as anger, anxiety attacks, bad dreams, and more.
I’ve been suffering from this for a long while now, and I’m only just coming to terms with it; the sheer scope of it. But I am starting to honestly accept it and hold it in my awareness. And I’m starting to do something about it. I’m working out at the gym nearly every day - just a little, but enough to see the change. I’m getting my work done harder, better, faster, and stronger. I’m keeping track of my obligations. I’m writing in my blog.
In the end I think that the key to overcoming cycles like this - or at least, learning to live with them and hold them as they are, is to be aware of them. Then go out and start small - do the tiniest things possible, but do them. One at a time. Over and over again. Create a new rhythm with the little parts of your life, relax into it, let it take its time. I’ve found myself sinking into this rhythm slowly, and it’s taken a few months but I can start to feel it building. As I work on the little things, they turn into larger things all of their own accord, and suddenly, instead of having to tackle the Great Wall of China with twenty men and a mule, I just stroll along to the part that’s only five feet high. It’s a combination of patience (with myself really) and belief that I matter enough to take care of. It’s not complicated - in fact, the whole thing seems absurdly simple, but the process of believing it and acting in my best interest has been long and complicated.
I figure that there will be plenty more places in my life where I come across patterns and cycles that create anxiety and fear, or otherwise try to perpetuate stagnant states where I lose my awareness of who and how I am. But I also think that now that I’m on the road to discover, that whole future process will be a little bit easier, knowing that I don’t have to fight it all, so much as I need to work with it and move through it. I think that as long as I always focus on, and begin with the little things, I might just turn out alright in the end.